Sunday 10 November 2013

October The Red Deer Rut? Nope!!!

With October being the traditional month of the Rut, it is no surprise to see many Photographers heading to their favourite locations for the fun and games, as our largest terrestrial mammal goes head to head with his rivals in the Game of  Harem's. A protracted move and counter move not only to gain Hinds but to keep them until he has ensured the gene line is continued.With testosterone rising the fight between males can be spectacular and if you consider there is very little if anything is eaten during this event it takes it's toll.

 Many of the hinds were suckling Fawns from the previous year, and if he is lucky she will already be pregnant with this years coupling.

 The Roaring is one of the ways in which he advertises his strength to the hinds and other Stags

 Which of course can get some attention he might not last through, as all adult males are testing their metal in order to gain a good group of females. So if parallel walking does not scare off the rival it will result in a full on battle as they struggle for supremacy and the control of their rivals harem.

With the abundance off food and acorns, and the lack of frosts the Rut has been very sporadic to none starting through out a fair portion of UK. So no combat shots this year for me I,m afraid

There is always next year!!


Thursday 26 September 2013

Saphire and Ochre, natural gems

Every so often it transpires that you are in the right place at the right time. And this time I was in the right place, just in time for a lovely sequence of Kingfisher shots from the local reserve. To watch them chasing each other around the pool was exciting as they turned, jinked, twisted and rolled the light was amazing as it reflected from these enigmatic little birds.

Patience this time was not rewarded,

Now we know who ate all the fish, along with Egrets, Cormorants and Grey Herons.
A single Eurasian Curlew presented it self for a shot or two before calling as it lifted and left.

Slim pickings I know, but it is after all the transition period as summer migrants leave our shores and the Winter birds start to arrive from the North and Scandinavia and further afield.
We will soon be hunting Waxwings again I am sure, wonder if the Winter snows will arrive as per forecast of end of October ? could be a cold !

Thursday 29 August 2013

A Summer spent well.

With such changeable but continuing warm weather, the local birding was slow at the best of times. With the trail cam not providing anything other than Mink and Fox a trip was on for the birding bus. Bempton Cliffs was the area of interest, a place I had often planned on visiting and for one reason or another never got to.

Keeping a wary eye on the goings on.

A gift for the female.

Bit of a brush up.
Damn it missed.

There at absolutely thousands on Gannets on this mainland colony, a good vantage point at 400 feet above the waves, located alongside one of the old radar station , now defunct, it is a spectacular place for a visit or two. I intend to return and do the other areas of interest in this area of the country soon.


Monday 17 June 2013


I know a bit lame on the title, but hey it's true. And with the warmer weather arriving it was a definite run out to try and capture these beautiful birds of prey as they hawked the skies for dragonflies and other flying insects.


A catch and eat in flight.

I certainly think that the Hobby is by far our most beautiful bird of prey arriving in the summer months, normally in time for the emergence of their main prey, the also beautiful Dragonfly.

Til next time I hope.

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Western Isles Mull and Iona final part.

At last, during the last few days the Sun was rising early and keeping the light good and not too hot as to cause much heat haze. So out it was and lets see what was eventually found around the lochs. The Swallows and Sand Martins were still chasing flies as they emerged from the exposed weed, So it seemed rude not to do them again. 
The View over Loch Stridian

Sand Martin

Bridled Guillemot


One of the species not expected to be seen was this Mink , along the coast near one of the smaller islands.



The Harriers were absolutely miles away, well! not exactly but might as well have been.

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

Great Skua (Bonxie)

Great Skua (Bonxie)
White-tailed Sea Eagle and Buzzard chasing!!! (record shot only)

Black-throated Diver

It did not take long for the week to go and it was then ferry across and the long overnight drive back to Shropshire, The place certainly leaves an indelible mark and calls to those that have sampled the delights to be had there. So will I go back? to darn right.

See you later I hope..

Monday 3 June 2013

Western Isles of Mull and Iona III

After several very unsettled days, weather wise, the sun shone and the wildlife came out to play' and what wildlife there was as well. some nice and close others way off in the distance, with White-tailed sea Eagles over head to Corncrakes thirty feet away, in the open!, I know! can you believe it? and not to forget the Otters along the coast brilliant.

I know you're there.

What you up to?

Whats that?

 And not the old Dog Otter, this one was found at Loch Stridian in the south, at ease hunting but very wary

And the final thing I wanted to do was to visit Iona for a day for these little skulking blighters.


 A wonderful place to visit and see some fantastic wildlife, but one week was definitely not enough to do the place justice so recce done next year going to get booked, nice to meet another Shropshire birder whilst there .

A few more to do, Shorties and others. so see you later.


Wednesday 29 May 2013

Mull & Iona part II

The rain finally stopped, well being horizontal to being vertical for a change, and then a large yellow disc appeared in the sky but brought with it more strong winds.
But undeterred it was out and searching the lochs for a few more species to photograph.


Great-northern Diver

Plenty of food inshore

Red-breasted Merganser

Eurasian Shag



Whinchat (yippee)
As can be seen from the photographs it was a real mixed bag on the weather front, the wind keeping Harriers down and Shorties alike. But the chats in the sheltered areas performed most admirably, particularly nice to get a half decent Whinchat shot at last.

There are more to do and will follow on as soon as possible, any comments or critique are most welcome